Sunday, February 25, 2007

Unknown Soldier, Who Knew

Well, My brother sent this to me in an email. I however have never visited Tomb of the Unknown Solider, let alone Washington D.C. So just in case you never knew this read on it is very interesting. That is one thing I love about Blogging I learn new things every single day.
Thanks to all.
On Jeopardy one night, the final question was How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns ------ All three missed it ---

This is really an awesome sight to watch if you've never had the chance Very fascinating.
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

1. How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns and why?

21 steps. It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute, which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.

2. How long does he hesitate after his about face to begin his
return walk and why?

21 seconds for the same reason as answer number 1

3. Why are his gloves wet?

His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.

4. Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time
and if not, why not?

He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path, he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.

5. How often are the guards changed?

Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

6. What are the physical traits of the guard limited to?
For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be
between 5' 10" and 6' 2" tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30." Other requirements of the Guard: They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform {fighting} or the tomb in any way. After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin. The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt. There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror. The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone, nor watch TV. All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred. Among the notables are: President Taft, Joe E. Lewis {the boxer} and Medal of Honor winner Audie Murphy, {the most decorated soldier of WWII} of Hollywood fame. Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty.

In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington, DC, our US Senate/House took 2 days off with anticipation of the storm. On the ABC evening news, it was reported that because of the dangers from the hurricane, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment. They respectfully declined the offer, "No way, Sir!" Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was thehighest honor that can be afforded to a serviceperson. The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.

God Bless and keep them.


A.J.Reams said...

I have read this many times but because I enjoy the information I always re-read it. The Hurricane Isabelle part brings tears to my eyes everytime. I can just imagine the guard soaking wet being pelted by tropical storm rain.

Thanks for posting this!

Skittles said...

I never knew any of this except that it was guarded. What commitment they make to performing this honor.

(I saw your blood sugar!)

Linda said...

Like a.j., I've read this a couple of times but I always enjoy rereading it. The dedication these soldiers show towards the honor of their fallen comrade is just incredible.

I've been to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier but it was a very long time ago and I really need to get back down there sometime soon. Maybe this summer would be nice ...

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

sarge and i went there last summer. it is amazing. you cannot possibly see the changing of the guard without crying. and the sound it makes when they click their heels when they change direction is amazing too. it was one of the highlights of our summer. i had just had major surgery in may and we went in july, i rode on the bus and only had to walk from the bus to the grave and believe me it was hot and a long walk for me at the time but i would not trade the experience for anything. thanks for posting this....

smiles, bee